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Bruce Tait Associates

Success in Trusts & Foundations 2021

As 2021 draws to a close, we are reflecting on another year of unprecedented challenges to the charity sector. One of the key areas BTA is currently researching and exploring is the current climate of trusts and grants success. BTA want to continue to support charities with their trusts and grants applications, helping them to unlock and secure funding to continue to implement amazing work.

Recent research carried out for Blackbaud’s Status of UK Fundraising: 2021 Benchmarking Report, found that overall, trusts and foundations proved to be the biggest source of income for the charities that participated in their study. Furthermore, Blackbaud found that overall, charity participants noted that contributions from trusts, foundations and individual giving for this year were far more than they were in a pre-COVID world.

What’s more, when the pandemic was as its most devastating, it was widely recommended that charity’s explore what trust fundraising could do for them. No charity went unaffected by the pandemic. Factors such as work from home, cancellations of fundraising events, pulling of vital services and furloughed staff meant that for many organisations, change was key to survival. This resulted in charities assessing and strategizing how to survive the crisis and this should not be forgotten, as these are contributing elements to the vastly changing landscape when it comes to trusts and foundations in 2021.

In the beginning of the pandemic, urgency was vital for survival for many organisations. Emergency funding such as the Third Sector Resilience Fund was a lifeline to many at a crucial time. The Third Sector Resilience Fund was introduced in March 2020 as an emergency fund with its main goal of providing ‘emergency funding for third sector organisations in Scotland which had been affected financially by the inability to generate their usual levels of income as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown restrictions’. The Fund sought to support charities navigate through the lockdown period. Many grant giving bodies set up their own emergency funding for charities. Many funders wanted to support organisations as soon as possible. Here at BTA, we continued to support charities with trusts and grants scoping and applications, and to enormous success.

‘When the pandemic first hit, funders focused on getting money out quicky to charities most affected by Coronavirus.’ NPC ‘s Guide: Shifting your funding practices during Covid-19.

Emergency funding was a lifeline to many charities, however, what happened when the accessibility to this type of funding started to prove more difficult? With many emergency funds now closed, there is less of a focus on these. It still seems to be the case that trusts and foundations are still receiving extremely high volumes of applications. However, unsurprisingly, with an increase in demand for trust fundraising across the sector, many charities are struggling more than ever to secure funding. This could be due to the volume of applications trusts are receiving, but also it could be that trusts may have had a shift in what causes they are most willing to support just now.

BTA are conducting a research survey to further analyse trust fundraising in 2021 in order to continue to further expand our expertise and knowledge on trust fundraising. We want to be able to advise, support and brief charities as fully as possible when it comes to trust fundraising. We would love to hear from you about how your trust fundraising experiences have been over the past year. Survey below:

Trusts and Foundations Success in 2021 (office.com)